February 24, 2024

President Obama will take on redistricting reform in his post-White House time

Barack Obama thegrio.com
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 12: Former President Barack Obama speaks onstage during the 2019 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple Of Hope Awards on December 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights )

On Thursday, President Barack Obama announced that his plans to rolls up his sleeves and focus on redistricting reform post presidency, The Atlantic reports.

Obama is transforming his Organizing for Action group into the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, according to reports.

A surefire way to win an election is to steal it through redistricting, also referred to as gerrymandering. Obama wants to  concentrate his efforts on a “joint force that is focused on this issue of singular importance,” Obama said on Thursday.

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“People want commonsense gun-safety laws; Congress ignores it. People want compressive immigration reform; Congress ignores it,” Obama said on a Thursday night call with his top supporters.

“The single most important thing that could be done at the grassroots level over the next few years is to make sure the rules of the road are fair. If we do that, I think we’ll do the right thing.”

Obama has recruited his friend Eric Holder, former attorney general, to chair the organization.

Holder called the merger “a way to maximize the incredible impact that OFA has had in the past and continue it into the future—this is a natural extension of the work we’ve been doing over the past year.”

Holder will hold his position until he decides whether he will run in 2020, according to reports.

“If you say, ‘The Obama legacy will then be focused on redistricting,’ that’s the mechanism by which the things the Obama presidency were about will be preserved,” Holder said.

Holder plans to hold a conference call with supporters on Jan. 7.

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How has the GOP used gerrymandering against African Americans?

Earlier this year, Holder answered a variety of questions from reporters ranging from what role he’ll play in the 2018 midterms to why more people should be concerned about gerrymandering. Below are some of the exchanges from Holder:

“It’s no secret that states that are the most gerrymandered also have the most restrictive voter I.D laws — laws which consistently (and disproportionately) affect African-Americans and other minorities.”

“During the redistricting process that happened in 2011, republicans used new technology to take gerrymandering to unprecedented levels. By creating safe districts – they locked themselves into power and they shut out voters from the electoral process. In particular, they used racial gerrymandering to pack minorities into districts in ways that diminished their voting power […]. It’s not a coincidence that after they gerrymandered states like Texas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin to lock in their power in the state legislature, they systematically passed voter I.D laws.

“The North Carolina legislature passed a law which one federal judge said targeted African-Americans, ‘with surgical precision.’”

“You have to understand, for a judge to use that kind of language is an indication of how strongly that judge felt. Federal judges are very careful with the language that they use. To say ‘with surgical precision’ is a testament to how bad the situation was – and is – in North Carolina. Republicans have systematically attacked American’s right to vote and voting power. ”

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